Synopses & Reviews
An extraordinary new novel by Samantha Harvey — whose books have been nominated for the Man Booker Prize, the Women’s Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize), and the Guardian First Book Award — The Western Wind is a riveting story of faith, guilt, and the freedom of confession.
It’s 1491. In the small village of Oakham, its wealthiest and most industrious resident, Tom Newman, is swept away by the river during the early hours of Shrove Saturday. Was it murder, suicide, or an accident? Narrated from the perspective of local priest John Reve — patient shepherd to his wayward flock — a shadowy portrait of the community comes to light through its residents’ tortured revelations. As some of their darkest secrets are revealed, the intrigue of the unexplained death ripples through the congregation. But will Reve, a man with secrets of his own, discover what happened to Newman? And what will happen if he can’t?
Written with timeless eloquence, steeped in the spiritual traditions of the Middle Ages, and brimming with propulsive suspense, The Western Wind finds Samantha Harvey at the pinnacle of her outstanding novelistic power.
“Harvey evokes the darkness of both winter and spirit with stark yet lovely imagery....This compulsively readable portrait of doubt and faith reveals, in small lives, humanity’s biggest questions.” Booklist (Starred Review)
“A dazzling, challenging read.” Kirkus Reviews
“Rich and complex....It’s hard not be riveted.” Observer
“A medieval mystery from one of the UK’s most exquisite stylists.” Guardian
About the Author
Samantha Harvey is the author of three novels, Dear Thief, All Is Song, and The Wilderness, which won the Betty Trask Prize. Her books have been shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Guardian First Book Award, and the James Tait Black Prize, as well as longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Baileys Women’s Prize. She lives in Bath, UK, and teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University.
Samantha Harvey on PowellsBooks.Blog
Firstly, I don’t sleep much anymore. A year ago sleep left me. I’ve spent the year in a complex postmortem of the sort that often follows a relationship breakup. What did I do to make it leave? What can I do to get it back? Is it possible to learn to survive without it?...